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Practice means two things in the yoga studio: we practice the poses to go deeper in our practice.

This sounds like a grammatical riddle but it is simple. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a new practitioner, this two-part practice is what you have to do to let yoga change your life.

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Yoga can and will change your life. But not on its own. You have to show up, be present, make the effort. Practice means doing yoga when you don’t feel like it. Pushing deeper in a posture than you think you can. It also means being patient with yourself when you are awkward, stiff or in a bad mood.

Some people think yoga practice should wipe away all your problems so you float through the day on a cloud of bliss. I don’t agree. Yoga can lift your spirits and give you a brighter perspective but dedicated practice gives you something more valuable: the strength to face challenges and the courage be true to yourself in hard situations.

Practice is a discipline. And its reward is both self-confidence and self-forgetfulness. When you go deep into a posture you forget everything else: you are only focused on the moment. Repeating this moment over and over, class after class, balances you spiritually and emotionally. Practice gives you a new way of looking at the world and your place in it.

The beauty of yoga is that there is no deadline. We don’t have to achieve this awareness in one class, or 10, or 1000. We only have to practice.

How has yoga practice changed your perspective? Share in the comments.

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